Spicer Back Home

Jock writes: A week after his acquittal on murder charges in the British Virgin Islands, Michael Spicer was back in Charlottesville. Last night he and his friend and former Tortola cellmate Evan George, enjoyed an evening together on the Downtown Mall.

Spicer and George had drinks at Miller’s, played pool at Rapture, and ate a late dinner at Escafé. While sampling Escafé’s shrimp ceviche, George remarked that the food was much better than at Her Majesty’s Prison at Balsam Ghut, Tortola. The menu there sometimes included cooked fish heads. “There is not much meat on a fish head,” he remarked.

Four Americans: Spicer, George, Alexander Benedetto and William Labrador, spent 470 days in a Tortola jail awaiting trial on charges of killing a young woman, Louis McMillen. After the Crown Prosecutors presented their case, High Court Justice Kenneth Benjamin concluded there was “absolutely no evidence” against George and a “very weak case” against Spicer and Benedetto, and directed the jury to acquit them.

The fourth defendant, William Labrador, is still on trial. Today Judge Benjamin instructs the jury and they begin deliberating. If convicted Labrador could face up to life in prison.

The main evidence against Labrador was the testimony of convicted con artist Jeffrey Plante, who alleged Labrador confessed to the crime. Defense lawyers vigorously attacked Plante’s credibility on cross-examination. They also presented testimony from his former parole officer, who said she would never believe a word he said.

Labrador took the stand in his own defense. He denied having had anything to do with the murder, and testified that Plante was lying.

Spicer said he expects the jury promptly to acquit Labrador.

Tomorrow (Friday) morning Spicer, George and Benedetto are scheduled for an interview on NBC’s Today show with Katie Couric. Saturday, CNN’s Larry King will interview them. The CBS program 48 Hours is also preparing a documentary on the trial.

“I never expected to be a celebrity,” Spicer said.

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